Opponent: Saint Francis U.
Record: 13-9, 7-4 NEC (Last game: W at Fairleigh Dickinson, 64-60)
KenPom Ranking: 205
Tip-Off Time: 4:30pm
Location: Steinberg Wellness Center – Brooklyn, NY
Media Game Coverage: Online: NEC Front Row; Audio: Red Zone Media
Meeting History: 68th all-time meeting. St. Francis U. leads the series, 34-33. SFU swept the two meetings between the two teams last season.
Projected Starting Lineups:
Saint Francis U.: Malik Harmon (G), Ollie Jackson (G), Greg Brown (G), Basil Thompson (F), Earl Brown (F)
LIU Brooklyn: Elvar Friðriksson (G), Gerrell Martin (G), Martin Hermannsson (G), Joel Hernandez (F), Nura Zanna (F)
The Saint Francis U. Red Flash entered this season as the second most experienced team in the NEC. They returned every single player that was on their roster last season. They are one of two NEC teams who have an above .500 overall record at 13-9.
SFU are currently tied for third in the NEC at 7-4. They started out 4-1 before going on a three-game losing streak but have turned it back around and are currently on a three-game winning streak entering this game.
SFU is led by senior forward Earl Brown who is a All-NEC first team candidate. He is averaging 15.5 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. Brown has seven double-doubles to his name this season and is currently on a two-game double-double streak and has had double-doubles in three of his last four games. He had a 20-point, 14-rebound game against FDU on Thursday night. Brown is in the top five in the NEC in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and minutes played. He is also eighth in the NEC in blocks.
Queens native and Christ the King High School grad Malik Harmon is second on the team in scoring at 9.5 points per game and 2.6 assists per game. He scored a season-high 25 points against Sacred Heart and 20 points versus American early in the season. Harmon is shooting 40% from the field and nearly 34% from three.
Junior forward Ronnie Drinnon is third on the team in scoring at 8.3 points per game but leads the team in rebounding with 7.7 rebpunds per game. Three times this season has had at least 15 rebounds in a game. He went for 16 points and 15 rebounds in a game versus Sacred Heart earlier this season. Drinnon is also first on the team in steals at 1.6 steals per game which is unusual coming from a 6’7″ forward. Drinnon though has not played in their last three games and is questionable for this game as well.
The Red Flash has four more players who average in between five and eight points per game in senior guard Dominique Major, junior guard Ben Millaud-Meunier, junior guard Greg Brown and senior guard Ollie Jackson. Brown has the highest field goal percentage of this group at 49.5% while Jackson has the highest three-point field goal percentage at 49.5%.
SFU as a team is not strong at getting their own misses. They only get about 25% of their misses on the offensive end. They are though a decent three-point shooting team at 35% and are the best shooting team inside the three-point arc in NEC games this season at nearly 52%. Over forty percent of their shots are threes.
On the defensive end, SFU are good are forcing turnovers at nearly 21% of their opponents possessions. They also hold their opponents to just 31% from three this season but teams have been taking advantage of their overall lack of size inside by making 52% of their two-pointers. They get a good number of steal at 6.6 per game but they are near the bottom along with LIU in block shots at 2.7 blocks per game. Opponents score 0.99 points per possession and they give up the least points per game to teams of all the NEC teams at 63.9 points per game.
Sophomore forward Glenn Feidanga has only played nine games this season due to an ankle injury. He missed the first four games of the season, played in team’s next four and then missed the next nine games after suffering a setback with his injury.
Feidanga returned back on January 22nd against Bryant and since his return LIU is 3-2. In this latest return stint, Feidanga hasn’t played more than 18 minutes in any one game but he has had a pretty big impact off the bench especially in LIU’s last three wins.
In his last four games, Feidanga is averaging 6 points per game and 7 rebounds per game. He is 8 for 21 from the field and 8 of 12 from the free throw line. He has just missed getting two double-double in these last four games. LIU head coach Jack Perri has praised his defensive and rebounding efforts and have shown an ability to get and make his shots inside.
LIU’s Keys to the Game:
– Attack inside: LIU should try to attack SFU in the paint where they are weakest defensively. SFU allow 52% shooting on two-pointers so LIU should to work them inside.
– Watch the shooters: SFU shoot 35% from three and there isn’t a player on their team that won’t shoot if left open. LIU will need to limit open looks from three for the Red Flash.
– Protect the rock: SFU are one of the better teams in the NEC in forcing turnovers. It will be important for Friðriksson, Hermannson, and Fleming to limit the turnovers and prevent the Red Flash in getting points off of turnovers.
KenPom Game Prediction: Saint Francis U., 65-64. LIU win probability: 48%.
LIU Brooklyn heads on the road to begin a three-game road trip beginning with a visit to Robert Morris on Thursday, February 12th. Tip-off time is scheduled for 7:00pm.